Wednesday, 7 October 2015


I renew my pledge of love
There are loads of reasons why some couples renew their marriage vows. It's a chance to have the wedding celebration you always wanted but couldn't afford at the time. 

You might want to involve people, like children, who weren't present when you got married. You may want to mark a new beginning in your lives together, recommit after difficult times or feel that you won't reach a significant anniversary for whatever reason. 

You might want to recreate the magic of your wedding day because you're a big softy or just want an excuse for a big party!
Are you asking me?

Good reasons to renew your vows:

· The photos from your first wedding were shocking and you’ve since lost two stone

· Your wedding was truly cheesy or you're too embarrassed to admit you got married underwater

· You’ve been through a rough time together but emerged, victorious, the other side

Whatever lies behind your decision to renew your vows it should be as special as your wedding day. A wonderful, fabulously fun day to remember, with the person you love by your side and the family and friends you hold dear celebrating with you.

We definitely do
As you celebrate your renewed commitment here today, and as you reflect on your life together as husband and wife, do you now wish to reaffirm the vows you took 10 years ago?

Sue & Steve: WE DO

Sue and Steve Jones from Deal in Kent renewed their marriage vows on their 10th wedding anniversary and recreated their special day with a story about how, when and where they met and fell in love. From meeting to the proposal was just over two weeks! Their love story was both romantic and funny and had their guests in stitches. 
Party time

Toasting the loved up couple
The couple repeated the candle lighting ceremony that they had the first time around in a church, but with a twist. They involved their grandchildren, great granddaughter and great great niece.

Sue and Steve lit a large candle to create a unity flame and then the youngsters, some with the help of their mothers, lit their small globe candles from the flame that the loved up couple created. 

A life together & beyond

Here's wishing Sue and Steve all the love and best wishes in the world for their life together and beyond. 

Photos courtesy of Terry Marsh Photography in Dover.

Sunday, 2 August 2015


Mr. & Mrs. Kerr
Every great wedding has a theme. Some themes are traditional, based on colours or flowers for instance, whilst others are in your face. Just type "themed weddings" into Google and see what images come up. You'll be amazed.

I recently returned from Northern Ireland where I conducted my first medieval themed wedding for a thoroughly modern couple. It was a great choice with the groom's background in archaeology and the couple's wish to have a mix of traditional, contemporary and uniquely personal to them ceremony elements. 

Don't drop the rings!

The wedding rings were presented on a sword and Helen and Thomas drank from a quaich. Sharing the contents (in this case mead) of a quaich - a two handled shallow drinking cup - is symbolic of the trust, love and peace between two people and represents the life they will share together. 

Tying the knot - literally!
The couple also opted for a hand fasting ceremony. The original meaning of “tying the knot,” hand fasting is where the couple's hands are tied with ribbons, cloth or cord to represent the bringing together of the two hearts in a marriage of strength and unity forever.

Capping off this alternative wedding ceremony were family shields, made by a friend of the bride, that adorned the sumptuous room where Helen and Thomas married. 

Family shield
The biggest day of your life should be incredibly special, fantastically memorable, undeniably unique and deeply meaningful to the couple and that was undeniably the case here. No cut and paste ceremony for these two!

Helen and Thomas were able to marry where, when and in the style they wanted because a wedding ceremony involving a civil celebrant is not subject to the same constraints and limitations as a service conducted in a church or your local Register Office.

They were actually legally married the day before the ceremony, attending the Registrar's office in Belfast City Hall to make a public declaration in front of two adult witnesses which was then ‘authorised’ by a Registrar.

With the legal side sorted, Helen and Thomas were then able to concentrate on the fun part which was their medieval themed ceremony in front of family and friends. They had the wedding they wanted, not the one they were told they must have.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Pet Funeral Ceremonies | A Pawtent Of Things To Come

My Best Friend
For many of us our pets are like our children. We over indulge them, worry about them when they're unwell and like to buy them toys and treats. Our furry, feathered and even scaly friends are our constant companions, through good times and bad, and are always happy to see us when we come home after a hard day's work.

You only have to look at our growing pet industry to know that our "four legged friends" have a permanent place in our hearts. There are products and services relating to food, health, clothing, insurance, toys, pampering, travel, training, pet sitting, pet walking, equipment, crematoriums and cemeteries - to name but a few!

I'll Never Forget You
So when our beloved pet dies, we lose a much loved member of the family. 

The pain and grief can be overwhelming. 

When we farewell a human member of our family we honour them with a funeral ceremony, so why don't we do the same for our animals? One answer could be embarrassment. For some it feels awkward to openly acknowledge the close bond between us and our pets. Another reason could be that it's not as culturally acceptable in the UK as it is in some other countries - yet!

But a ceremony is a chance to celebrate your best friend's life - a life that you've most likely nurtured since their birth - and pay tribute to them in a meaningful way. 

Side By Side
Holding a ceremony, with all the elements you would include for a person such as music, poetry and candle lighting, can help with the grieving process. This is particularly so for children who may be experiencing their first significant "death in the family." 

A respectful, bespoke, ceremony can help give meaning and perspective to youngsters in what is a sad and confusing experience. After all, death is a part of life and if you can ease your child's suffering at losing their companion why wouldn't you?

Until We Meet Again
A ceremony is also a chance for children to feel valued by contributing in some way such as with a reading, prayer or selecting memorabilia that can play a part in any funeral ceremony.

No two pets are the same and no two funeral ceremonies should be either. Check out the Pet Funeral Ceremonies page of my website to see what I can do for you and your forever pet.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Sand Blending Ceremony | Great For Children Born By The Sea

Let me have a go!
Sand blending is a great addition to any baby naming ceremony, particularly if your child was born, or lives, by the sea. It's colourful, fun and gives any children present the chance to get involved in creating a lovely keepsake for the special person who has centre stage. 

It also helps prevent the little people present from getting bored!
Happy we three
There were lots of children at my most recent baby naming ceremony in Margate when little Olivia-Louise celebrated her special day with her family and their friends. 

Everyone joined in and contributed to a unique gift that has pride of place in Olivia-Louise's nursery. Using different coloured sand to symbolise the many people who will play a part in her life, and the many different facets of her character that will evolve, each guest took a handful of sand and released it into a glass jar. 

Getting started
I'll watch. You Hold
When it was full it was sealed and acts as a constant reminder of the happy day and all the people who came together to celebrate it. Once combined, the grains of sand can never be separated, like the bond between the parents and their child.

Before the happy day I collected sand from Margate beach, dried it and coloured it with powder paint. 

Not only did this help to keep the costs down, which is very important for most of us, but it was more meaningful that the sand was local. 

It's been a very long day

No matter where Olivia-Louise lives in the future, she will always have a piece of "home" with her. 

We all wanted to thank you so much for the brilliant day you gave us for Olivia-Louise's naming day. We didn't know what to expect but it was the most amazing day we could have asked for. You went out of your way for us and for that we are so very grateful. Friends and family are still talking about what a fantastic day it was and we wont ever forget it or yourself. Thank you xx

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue | Nature Inspired Names Could Be For You

Whilst preparing for a baby girl's naming ceremony in Margate in early April, it got me thinking about names associated with seasons. It's Spring and daffodils are already nudging the snowdrops out of the way. Tulips will be next to push their heads through the soil to greet the sky.
Blue Violet

Naturally, when we think of Spring we think of flowers and many are given as girls' names: Bluebell, Daisy, Daphne, Heather, Jasmine, Lily, Marigold, Poppy, Primrose, Rose and Violet to name but a few. They're pretty, classic, names that bridge the generation gap and conjure up lovely images.

But what about boys' names associated with this time of year? I couldn't think of any so if you have any ideas please let me know. However, there are plenty of nature or plant inspired names that are just as gorgeous as the flower names given to girls.

How about these: Ash (short for Ashley), Basil, Dale, Forrest, Heath, Logan, Oliver (widely believed to be linked to the olive tree), Rowan and Sylvester, which is a palm.

Sylvester Palm

        When you think about it, nature has inspired many beautiful names: Sky, Colt, Ruby, Finn, Coral, Robin and Fern. The list is endless really. And the beauty of such names is that they give me an opportunity to be really creative when planning a bespoke ceremony for your cherished baby. In the meantime, I hope the images brighten up your day.

Sunday, 15 February 2015


Engaged and loved up!
Congratulations to Dr Thomas Robert Kerr and Miss Helen Frances Williamson for winning my competition for a free wedding ceremony.

They're getting married on 27 June 2015 in Ballyscullion Park, Bellaghy in County Londonderry exactly a year and a day since the loved up couple met.
Ballyscullion Park, Bellaghy

They crossed paths at Queen's University in Belfast where Thomas was working as a Research Archaeologist and Helen was doing a Post Graduate Diploma in Pain Management. 

They said: 'We quickly realised we were both on the same dating site and chatted online for a short time before deciding to meet in person. We had a lunchtime coffee one day and have been together nearly every day since then.'

Relaxing after the happy news
Thomas proposed just before Christmas on 22 December 2014 with Helen's niece, Jessica, looking on in panic because he had, very romantically, hidden the engagement ring in Helen's favorite food - a strawberry!

Helen had chosen her ring which was being sized, so she knew it was coming, but didn't expect it before the festive season.

It was the best Christmas present she could have wished for - apart from Thomas, himself, of course!

Helen said: 'We were absolutely thrilled when Lisa phoned us on Valentines' Day to tell us we had won the competition. It made the day extra special and we can't wait to exchange our vows during a really bespoke ceremony and in such a beautiful setting.'